The problem with myths is that the longer they circulate, the more believable they tend to sound. Some myths, of course, are so far-fetched as to almost be laughable. Almost. Except, some people still take them to be the truth. In this day and age, where people are more devoted to looking their best, seeing someone with braces isn’t really a big deal. No longer are your typical braces-wearers pimply teens with bad hair and poor fashion sense. Let’s just kill that stereotype right there. And while we’re at it- let’s kill some myths about braces too.
Understanding common myths about braces
In the “early days”, before orthodontics became a common way to straighten crooked teeth, it was somewhat peculiar to see a person walking around with wires on his/her teeth. People made assumptions. People tried to make sense of something that was, at the time, out of the ordinary. And so came about many myths about braces. Here are ten of those myths:
Myth #1- Braces are meant for kids
Although teenagers and tweens are the ones most seen frequenting the orthodontists, many adults also look to braces to improve their smiles with orthodontics. Braces are really for anyone (of any age) that want to sort out an array of dental problems- from crooked teeth to overbites, to jaw misalignments.
Myth# 2- Traditional metal braces are the only kind of braces available
Nope. With the rapidly changing technology of today, there is now a wide range of orthodontics available, including braces that are a lot more aesthetically appealing. Lingual braces are fitted behind your teeth- discreet and nearly invisible, you could probably keep them a secret. Cosmetic (clear) braces are tooth-coloured and as such, can barely be noticed. Invisalign, on the other hand, is an orthodontic treatment that uses removable, clear retainers to align your teeth. No need for brackets and bulky wires!
Myth#3- Braces take many years to work for everyone that wears them
It all depends on the person and the extent of orthodontic treatment required. It could take anywhere from a few months to about two, maybe three years for more extensive treatment. Major teeth problems require adequate time to be rectified, but you never have to worry about growing old with your set of braces – that’s a given.
Myth#4 – All milk teeth must fall out before a child can get braces
In fact, a child can be given orthodontic treatment from as early as seven/eight years old. You don’t have to wait for all the milk teeth to fall out. Once you find that your child is developing dental issues, it is best to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. Interruptive treatment given at an early age can reduce the extent of treatment that may be required when the child is older.
Myth#5- The tighter the braces, the faster the treatment
It doesn’t work the same way going to the gym does- “more pain, more gain.” If too much force is applied from excessively-tightened braces, the tissue around the teeth can be destroyed. An appropriate amount of force must be applied to ensure optimal tissue response and faster teeth movement. And the good thing about this is that more pain really does not equal more gain.
Myth#6- Once my braces are fitted I don’t need to go back to the orthodontist
Having braces includes a bit of responsibility, such as keeping regular appointments with your orthodontist. This is important because your progress needs to be monitored, with the necessary adjustments made to your braces. Should there be any problems- your orthodontist will be able to sort it and set you back on course.
Myth#7- Once I’m done with braces, I can expect the changes to be permanent
Unfortunately, while this may be true for minor issues corrected by braces, more extensive treatment requires maintenance and upkeep. A retainer will have to be used post-braces, to keep your teeth in place. You will still have to visit your orthodontist now and again to ensure that your teeth aren’t shifting.
Myth#8- Braces may cause the metal detector at the airport to go wild
It would be stressful to have that airport metal detector constantly beeping every time you walked through it. Having security look at you as if they’re ready to body slam you to the ground, is enough to keep anyone away from the airport. The good news is that your braces will not be the reason you illicit suspicious stares from airport security. Braces are made of a material that has no effect on metal detectors.
Myth#9- Having braces may increase my chances of being struck by lightning
Of all the myths, this may just be the ridiculous one. The chances of being struck by lightning are exactly the same for those that wear braces and for those that don’t. Braces are not exactly lightning-catchers.
Myth#10- I can’t play sport with braces
Having braces really doesn’t stop you from doing anything. Except maybe gnawing on a giant corn on the cob at top speed! If you play contact sports- it’s best to wear a mouthguard to avoid damage to your braces and mouth.
Having been in the business of helping patients receive quality orthodontic treatment for a long time, Dr Peter McMahon will happily debunk any other myths about braces you may have come across. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us on our contact page https://www.specialistorthodontist.com.au/contact/ or give us a call. At AAA Orthodontics, we’re happy to answer all your questions, even if it’s about lightning and braces!